On 22 September, Theresa May will make what has been flagged as a major speech – on a topic that is being withheld from the public, rather than the usual trails and leaks priming the population for what to expect and giving the the ‘commentariat’ time to tell us all what a great idea it is.
The pro-Brexit organisation The Leave Alliance (TLA) claims to have ‘intel’ on the topic of the speech – and if it is correct, it will be the equivalent of throwing a live hand-grenade into a crowded room: carnage.
TLA’s ‘intel’ suggests that May will announce the UK’s formal notice of its departure from the European Economic Area (EEA):
The EEA is an agreement among member nations allowing the free movement of goods, services, capital – and people. Most EEA members are also EU members. Some, such as Norway and Iceland, are not. All submit themselves to the ‘four freedoms’:
If this intel is correct, Theresa May is planning to unilaterally withdraw from the EEA now and attempt a ‘take it or leave it’ offer to negotiate individual deals with member states – the whole EU plus those shown in green or yellow above.
Deals that will, somehow, include only ‘trading rules’ and not the movement of people – the Holy Grail/pipe-dream of right-wing ‘hard brexiteers’: a better deal (by their standards) than the UK has now as an EU member.
If the intel is true, it appears that Theresa May and her government have lost the plot and are about to engage in a gamble as reckless and desperate as Hitler’s ‘battle of the bulge‘ near the end of World War Two that accelerated Germany’s military collapse.
David Davis and what passes for the UK’s ‘negotiators’ have, so far, appeared completely outmatched and out of their depth opposite a competent and thoroughly-prepared Michel Barnier, who looks daily more exasperated with the hapless, grinning shambles opposite him.
And if the UK can’t deal with one team of negotiators, their chances of handling negotiations with thirty or so countries make the prospects of a furnace-bound snowflake look positively rosy.
The ‘Legatum template’ mentioned in the intel introduces an additional enigma into the picture.
The Legatum Institute is, according to its website, a think-tank and charity focused on
understanding, measuring, and explaining the journey from poverty to prosperity for individuals, communities, and nations.
A search for ‘Legatum template’ reveals that there is a page on the Legatum site ‘li.com/template’ – but the page is blank:
A wider search for “Legatum template” as an exact phrase reveals only a web design company and a few quotes of TLA’s tweet shown above.
Legatum’s media office told the SKWAWKBOX that the page is ‘probably offline as part of a site rebuild’. The spokesperson said he was not sure which document was meant to populate the page and has offered to send some examples of the kind of documents they provide in due course.
Number 10’s press spokesperson told the SKWAWKBOX:
I can tell you now that we will not be commenting. But it would be appreciated if you could send us that tweet.
Whatever the details that are/were in the ‘Legatum template’, if the TLA ‘intel’ turns out to be correct May’s speech will be a give-away that the Tories have dug themselves into such a hole of incompetence and desperation that a ‘bunker meme’ could not even begin to encompass the level of desperate self-deception involved.
Eight days to go before we find out.
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